May 17, 1972
Three of actress Maggie de la Riva’s 4 gang-rapists are executed
In 1967, Jaime Jose, Basilio Pineda, and Edgardo Aquino, the three men executed (along with Rogelio Canial who died of a drug overdose in jail a few months before the execution), used their car to force de la Riva’s vehicle to a stop. They then forcibly removed her from her vehicle and loaded her into theirs, leaving de la Riva’s companion, her maid, behind. In the car, they groped and taunted her. She pleaded with them to let her go, informing them she was the main financial support for her mother after her father’s death. Hearing her father had passed made the group happy, telling de la Riva they didn’t need to worry about revenge being taken upon them.
The group drove de la Riva to a hotel where they raped and beat her, at one point dousing her with water to revive her after she lost consciousness. After the attack they ordered her to dress, wash her face, and brush her hair, and pretend nothing had happened. De la Riva was instructed to tell her mother the group had abducted her thinking she was someone else and had released her unharmed when they discovered her true identity. She was also told not to inform the police. Once home, she told her mother everything and immediately contacted police.
The assailants’ trial began 5 days after the attack. As pictured in the newspaper article below, de la Riva pointed at her attackers, asking if they remembered the bruises still present on her arms. The case became highly sensationalized in the Philippines due to the high-profiles of both the attackers and the victim. Passionate pleas from the families of the accused, begging for leniency, only added to the sensationalism. The 3 rapists who were executed died in the electric chair 5 years after the kidnaping and rape.
De la Riva has not let the rape destroy her, and publicly stated decades after the attack, “When that misfortune happened to me, I realized that although my body was raped my true self was never defiled and that there’s another person in me that’s beautiful, strong and true. The old Maggie has faded away. I look at my experience as something that happened to someone else who is no longer the person I am today.”